Skip to content Go to Homepage
Insights: Blog
Why categorizing customers is a waste of time
by Tom Jenkins

Right now, marketing teams across the country are building customer profiles, analysing consumer journeys and attempting to build profiles in order to improve customer experience.

We all know that groups like “millennials” or “time-poor mothers” are far too broad, but that doesn’t stop thousands of companies constantly investing in discovering what they like and in what ways they prefer to communicate.

The difficulty these marketeers face is that people are innately unpredictable. They do not conform to demographics and stereotypes but they are determined to feel like they are in control of how they shop. Sometimes there is no logic to what they want - and this is actually great for your business.

Our research, carried out in the UK, US and Brazil, discovered that any attempt to build a one-size-fits-all approach to customer experience doesn’t work. Consumers are more demanding than ever, which means the way you talk to them must be better, wider and more flexible than it has ever been.

In the past 12 months, 35% of people in the UK confessed to having to reschedule a delivery at least once, with one in 20 rescheduling more than 20 times. This costs companies like yours time and money but it can be overcome.

Nearly a third of people said that there was no perfect time for a scheduled delivery or installation to arrive at their home. They said their days were “unpredictable” and while they were able to say with confidence that daytime was better than night, they were unable to narrow it down any further.

In all three markets the majority of consumers confessed to not always answering when a company tries to contact them to deliver a product or service. This may explain the three most popular reasons that they end up missing a delivery; not knowing you were coming, forgetting about the appointment and not hearing the doorbell.

Even when they have already bought from you, you are not the centre of your customers’ lives. But by talking to them in the ways they prefer, you can fit neatly into their routines. Sending a message as a reminder in the medium they prefer can make sure they are ready to greet you.

This can begin to alleviate some of this unpredictability. If you can communicate with them in a variety of different methods that your shoppers frequently use then your message is more likely to get across. But again, there is no magic method for everyone.

In each country around one in five people said they would never give their email address or their mobile or landline numbers to a company, meaning that you must be prepared to operate on a variety of channels or face alienating parts of your customer base.

But even operating on these established channels is not enough. More than half of UK and US consumers are open to talking to companies via Facebook messenger, social media or WhatsApp. Only by being where your shoppers want, when they want, will you succeed as these ways become more commonplace.

Throw out the old ways of looking at shoppers. If it ever worked, it certainly doesn’t now. To thrive in the current marketplace you must become a master of unpredictability, able to bend your customer communications at will, while your competition tries to mould shoppers to their vision rather than the other way round.

Look at unpredictability as an opportunity and reap the rewards for being in places other companies do not dare to go.

Solutions in your sector


Enabling a differentiated experience throughout the end-to-end customer journey for the world’s largest telcos

Retail Banking

Improving lending and mortgage journeys and making day-to-day banking easier for your customers


Transforming the citizen experience across federal and state government agencies


Reducing churn with better customer engagement across sales, onboarding, retention and regulatory compliance


Improving customer and agent experience through automation of onboarding, in-life customer care and loss prevention


Ensuring right-first-time delivery and installation of complex and large item deliveries

Retail/Major Appliances

Improving customer engagement to ensure right-first-time delivery and repair through proactive conversation


Managing and improving customer conversations across complex networks of manufacturers, dealers and customers

Icon Book Demo

Isn’t it time you stop assuming? Book a demonstration with us

Thank you, we will be in touch shortly!

Error Submitting Form

Back to top